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Southern Religion

The worthwhile data would upend Richard Land’s logic

Accusing “the media” of “conflating figures” to justify repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the Southern Baptist Convention ethics czar Richard Land responds with some truly dubious numbers:

Meanwhile, a survey commissioned and just released jointly by the Center for Security Policy and the Family Research Council shows that 63 percent of active duty and retired military families oppose allowing open homosexuals in the military ranks.

The survey Land cited questioned a group which is not representative of the active duty military — 70.58 percent of those questioned were over 50. Whereas 70 percent of the troops are under age 30. The age difference is fundamentally why the Land-recommended survey produced a negative outcome. As David Wood explained:

Tuesday’s Pentagon report [revealed] that things have changed in the ranks over the past two decades: today, the vast majority of troops (70 percent under age 30) either favor repeal of the law banning open gays from military service, or don’t care one way or another.

Or as the New York Daily News’ Michael Sheridan and Richard Sisk put it:

[Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff] and [Defense Secretary Bill] Gates spoke at a Pentagon briefing on a massive survey of active duty troops that showed 70% believe a repeal of DADT would have either a positive effect or no effect on their ability to complete missions.

The study is based upon answers provided by nearly 115,000 troops, along with 44,200 military spouses. The study group also visited various military bases and held town hall-style meetings with service members.

If the worthwhile data tends to invert Land’s logic, you may wish to invert his recommendation and call your U.S. Senator to lobby for repeal of DADT.

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December 1, 2010 Posted by | SBC | , | 2 Comments

Virginia Federal District Court Rejects Constitutional Challenges To Health Reform [plus other religion news updates]

December 1, 2010 Posted by | Health, Law, news, Religion | Comments Off on Virginia Federal District Court Rejects Constitutional Challenges To Health Reform [plus other religion news updates]

Illinois state Senate expected to approve civil unions for same-sex couples today

Supported by faith organizations, including representatives of more than 270 congregations who signed the Faith Petition, the Illinois General Assembly passed Tuesday night the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act (SB 1716), which extends state law marriage protections to couples in committed civil unions, including same sex couples.

Ray Long, Monique Garcia and Rex Huppke of the Chicago Tribute wrote:

As onlookers broke out into cheers, the House for the first time ever approved civil unions, with one vote to spare. Supporters expect the Senate to follow suit Wednesday, and Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn campaigned this fall on a pledge to sign it into law

“We have a chance here, as leaders have had in previous generations, to correct injustice and to move us down the path toward liberty,” said sponsoring Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago, one of two openly gay lawmakers, his voice breaking with emotion. “It’s a matter of fairness, it’s a matter of respect, it’s a matter of equality.”

Vigorous opposition from the Catholic Church and the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) could not overcome the momentum of public opinion. A Tribune Poll found “57 percent approved of legalizing civil unions while 32 percent disapproved.”

Opponents predicted a slide down some kind of “slippery slope” slide into an erosion of family values.

December 1, 2010 Posted by | Law, Politics, Religion | , | Comments Off on Illinois state Senate expected to approve civil unions for same-sex couples today